Walls For Sleaze, Moody Landscapes, & Gun-Play [2021-05-27]
Cory Adieen is an American trans-gender noisemaker, who has been creating some of the more impressive and entrancing walled noise I’ve heard in some time. Cory is behind projects such as Root Cellar, Monolithic Torment, and Submachine Gun. She kindly agreed to give M[m] an email interview.
M[m]: When did you first get into more extreme forms of sound, when did you first hear walled noise, and was there anyone release that pushed you to start making walls yourself?
Cory: Well, I’d say pretty young for kids at that time period and definitely for the area I was living. I got into punk music when I was about 11 or 12 through an old skateboard video and was immediately into it. My mom’s house was super religious and basically, if it wasn’t linked to church music or the lyrics were not about how cool God is I couldn’t have it. Weak sauce. I almost right away made the jump to heavier hardcore punk, grindcore, metal, noisecore etc. Although simlar to a lot of harsh noise I had no idea what HNW was until I was at least 20. Vomir's - Rien being the game-changer (the mini CDR) 2010
M[m]: What was your first-ever noise venture?
Cory: Hmmm ha-ha that’s kind of a tough one because I’ve always had a fascination with making unpleasant sounds- like as a kid I would spend hours fucking with tape recorders and slowing down my voice. Always with the field recording. I did all editing and sound for my buddies skate videos that was fun. What a lot of people don’t know is I released noise under Garbage Noise before anything else and it was more experimental/field recordings/ type stuff. Pretty mellow. Nothing any of my friends were into whatsoever. Probably why it took so long to make the connections.
M[m]: Skateboarding seems like one of your key interests- have you ever used the sounds of the board as a source for your walls, or is it something you’ve considered?
Cory: For sure! I skated for a long time but just started doing it less and less as I got older. I'm skating again when I get the chance and I'm getting into it a lot like back in the good ol' days. Unfortunately, no I have not but it's something that I think would be really cool and I do have several ideas for a skateboarding sound source(s).
I know that The Rita did that with "skate / snorkel" and it was super cool! Keep an eye out because the gears are turning.
M[m]: You mention your first project Garbage Noise- could you talk a bit more about this project? What was it’s themes? how long did this last for? And have you ever considered releasing any work from the project?
Cory: Ha-ha! oh damn there was no underlying theme really. It touched bases from racism, homophobia, bigotry, alcohol and drug abuse, and homelessness so themes I still to this day am very passionate about. I did that "project" for about a year putting out very small and almost just personal copies to friends who asked and almost no digitals. I have thought about taking the small amount I have not thrown out and releasing it :) I think it would be cute and fun. I used to draw all the artwork (terrible) and I do think I have some of it in a box somewhere.
M[m]: With a few of your projects you use rather Anarcho-punk like texts & layouts- please discuss this?
Cory: Like I said earlier punk rock was kind of the first kind of music I had really heard outside gospel music and shit ha-ha. I’m still heavily into the punk scene and although I rarely go out I try be as active as possible in my community and others through the internet and other types of online events. Growing up I always wanted to be in a band but could never find anybody that wanted to play 15-second songs and play super-fast.
M[m]: You say punk was a big part of your early life- do you still listen to it now? And if so what have you recently been listening to in the punk genre?
Cory: Absolutely! Punk is still very much a part of my everyday rotation of albums. Lately, I have gone back and revisited a lot of stuff I first got into. I grew up around record collectors so I kind of had the upper hand when it came to punk music. A lot of Japanese and Swedish 82 hardcore stuff along with a bunch or more mellow stuff like pop-punk and skate punk. Some of my favourite still would have to be Mob 47, Asta Kast, ROT, Disclose, Dystopia, but one of my favourite bands ever that is far far from these bands is Lagwagon. IDK shut up!
M[m]: Seemingly your first HNW project was Massive Panic Attack, and according to Discogs it only had two releases from 2018 & 2019. Why did this project release so little, and what did you see as its themes?
Cory: MPA came shortly after Garbage Noise and was the first project I ever released anything into public with the exception of friends and ppl who I showed and made personal copies for. So there is some out there but your chances of obtaining a physical copy is not so promising lol. Actually, MPA had quite a few releases in that time period including the first-ever physical cassette and CDR release and splits I ever did :) my Bandcamp page still has almost the entire MASSIVEPANICATTACK release discography if anyone wants to hear the progression to where I am today with my walls and current HNW Highly war-related themes.
M[m]: As far as I gather your present active projects are Monolithic Torment, Submachine Gun, and Root Cellar. What made you decide to have separate projects, and not just one?
Cory: Monolithic Torment is the rebirth of MPA and basically is the same project but after coming out as a trans woman I left the name and change things up a bit. The reason I have several different wall noise projects is because I make and use noise in my everyday life for anxiety. I have crippling panic attacks, and one of the only ways I can work through is by making or listening to wall-noise- sometimes I need a very ambient wall and sometimes a very violent one. It gives the listener the security that if you want to mellow out to an ambient sound you can put on any Root Cellar album, get what you want and the next track isn’t going to throw you off with something totally different/ not ambient. Then again SMG was created just because I love submachine guns. A lot of the tracks have gunfire somewhere in them also, but that can be kind of hard to pinpoint even for me sometimes ha-ha.
M[m]: Submachine Gun is a project that sees you focusing on more war focused imagery- you say it grew from your love of the sound of machine guns. Do you purely use gun field recordings as the project's source, or have you moved out into other war-related sounds?
Cory: A lot of the sound sources are gunfire but I use a lot of different sources as well. My favourite is an old metal ammo box from Vietnam I put bits of metal and other random things I will get a nasty sound from. I fill it with a few contact mics and rig it to an electric sander and oh buddy it's noise! I love every second of it. I'm planning on doing some physical releases 2021 so keep your eyes peeled!
M[m]: Please your present general set-up, and do you still have any kit from when you started?
Cory: Ok soooo! Right now I’m using my Behringer Xenyx 1202FX mixer and going into it is The Great White Death Machine (Deathbed Tapes) the Noise Rumble (lefty’s Sound Lab) and my favourite the Hadron Collider (Electro Lobotomy and those three amazing contraptions going into a pretty standard 2 or three chains consisting of 2x DOD death metal FX86b, Digitech Death metal, A Boss Metal zone, a Behringer Ultra Metal, the DOD Bass Grunge FX92, a Metal Muff, a Walrus Audio DECENT, and last but not least a DOD Bass EQ FX42-b and a Behringer Bass Graphic Equalizer.
Almost everything I worked so hard for and started with was stolen a couple of years back in a house robbery. It was a huge bummer on several different levels. Everything I’ve ever released to the public started with that stuff and I literally recycled cans and bottles for the majority of that gear because money has a burden in my life or should I say lack of. The Behringer Bass eq is the only thing I still have and use that wasn’t stolen.
M[m]: How does your set-up vary from project to project?
Cory: It’s always changing up, but I’d say I use less gear with SMG and Root Cellar because the sound sources on both of these projects are field recordings ran through a personalized chain and most times matched with another chain generally a white noise or synth box. Sometimes a keyboard too, although I just moved and have zero keyboards at the moment.
M[m]: The first work I heard from you was from the Root Cellar project. Seemingly the themes for this project move from creepy nature and the unknown, with a few releases focusing in on natural locations near where you used to live in Oregon. Please discuss what appealed to you about these natural locations?
Cory: I grew up in a pretty small town in Southern Oregon, and as a kid we went camping and to the river/woods a LOT! Some of my first memories are being in the woods with my dad. As I got older, and I mean not that much I started exploring more and more by myself and at 15 left home and started squatting and a year later started hopping trains. When I first started travelling, I went to some of these places and some I never thought I would be able to visit. I spent a lot of time rocking to sleep staring up at the stars by the constant sound of screeching banging sounds of moving freight. It was the best and worst time of my life. Root Cellar is all the beauty and some of the nasty that time period in my life.
M[m]: Could talk a bit more about your time hopping trains, how long did this go on for? And what are some of the more memorable places you visited?
Cory: Wow, this was such a huge part of my life I don't know where to begin. I left home at 15 and was just sleeping at the skatepark and sometimes a friend's parents would let me crash for a bit. I would hitchhike up and down I-5 and go to punk, grind and metal shows until about a year later when I ran into some kids a bit older that turned me onto hopping trains. that was it, the first ride was so amazing and liberating I was addicted to it! I've been East, West, North and South not every state but I'd say about 80%. Some of my favourite cities I would frequent were Atlanta GA, Minneapolis MN, Kansas City MO, Portland OR, Richmond VA, and Asheville NC. Some of my favourite places were these small towns nobody has ever heard of. They would a lot of the time have some of the coolest museums, diners, stores and just all-around peaceful...MOST of the time ha-ha. Sometimes the cops and locals took one look at us and were very unhappy we were there.
I was severely addicted to drugs and alcohol almost the whole time, but I had a kid in 2006 and cleaned up and got a job. It took a long time to get used to living inside and I couldn't even sleep on a mattress for a long time, and I still sometimes move to the floor when I can't sleep. Most of my friends from that time period have passed away and it's something I will never get over. These people were my only family and looked out for me thick and thin. Rest up buddies.
I still hop a train or two but it's just for nostalgia and I will go out with a bit of money, so I don't have to run cardboard and panhandle and all that bullshit.
M[m]: Please discuss what you see as the themes surrounding your other projects?
Cory: MONOLITHIC TORMENT primarily is focused around mental illness, and the darker corners of life. Addiction, suicide, violence, rape etc. I am not in any way praising these things. These are all things I have been through and live to talk about. It’s therapeutic and I hope it has helped even one person the way it has me. SMG is primarily my obsession with submachine guns, similar things and accessories. And like I explain above Root Cellar is some of the more beautiful things I have in my life.
M[m]: You recently moved to Illinois- has this changed to the way you create work, and your outlook on the wall creating now?
Cory: I didn’t think it would, but yes it has. At my old house, I had a garage I almost never left. It was complete privacy, and I had a couch out there I would sleep on sometimes and had friends over to collaborate. I operate my label (WBR) and all my projects out of my top story room in Springfield IL now and it’s the first time I’ve actually had to use my headphones as to not completely piss off my roommate lol. Nah they are great and actually, we will cube collaborating on something new very soon so keep your eyes peeled.
M[m]: You talk about collaborating with friends in your old house when making noise. Please could you talk about this a bit more, and have you released any of these collaborations?
Cory: I wish! Ok, so a friend of mine I’ve known from the age of 15 eventually made a makeshift studio and would record CDs, demos, and all sorts of stuff for people around town. He was also in a punk band with two other friends of mine at practices. We would fuck around and record anything from pop-punk, grindcore, noisegrind, metal, and just some super stupid stuff ha-ha some hip hop. Me and the friend with the recording studio started a black metal band called Christ Defiled and it went absolutely nowhere. It was really fun practising and I do wish we would have taken it more seriously.
M[m]: What’s presently in the works, and do you plan to put out more physical releases?
Cory: Ok so right now Root Cellar and SMG are functioning on a lower than usual level but still pretty consistent with digital releases. I’m still getting set up, but hope to have a lot more cassette releases from both projects by the end of the year!
Unfortunately, Monolithic Torment has one more physical (cassette) release and some splits but I’m putting MT on hiatus for a while and releasing thing just under my name. Cory Aideen. There is an artist page on BC if you want to follow what I’m doing in that style of walls while Monolithic Torment is taking a nap.
Take care everyone be safe and thanks a bunch for all the love and support! I couldn't do it without you all!
Thanks to Cory for their time answering the questions. Here are a few bandcamp links to Cory’s projects https://rootcellar1.bandcamp.com/, https://submachinegunhnw.bandcamp.com/, https://monolithictorment.bandcamp.com/Roger Batty